Trey Schwab & Stephen Rutherford

It is time once again for the Stephen Rutherford Memorial Golf Outing. Trey Schawb meant a lot to Marquette basketball during the 2003 Final Four run and now works with the University of Wisconsin Organ Procurement Organization. This outing raises money for that organization and honors Stephen Rutherford, who saved Trey Schawb's life.

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3rd Annual Stephen Rutherford Memorial Golf Tournament

When  Marquette was making headlines with their Final Four run back in 2003, there was a sad and interesting side story. Marquette Special Assistant Trey Schwab was awaiting a double lung transplant. He could not survive without it.The further Marquette advanced in the tournament that year, the more attention Schwab's life threatening condition received.

In another section of the state, 18 year old Stephen Rutherford was enjoying life. An athlete and member of both prom and homecoming courts in high school, Rutherford was also a cadet with the local fire department.

As time went on, Stephen worked on a construction job at the Northern Bay Golf Resort. On Valentine's day 2004, there was an accident on the job site and Rutherford was severely injured. Three days later, at the age of 19, he was pronounced brain dead. Kathy Rutherford, Stephen's mother, was faced with a tough decision. With such a young healthy person, doctors spoke to Kathy about organ and tissue donation. After struggling with the decision, and knowing that there were two specific people waiting for heart and kidney transplants, she agreed that it Stephen always wanted to help people, so this is what he would want.

Little did Kathy know; Stephen's help would go much further. Stephen's organs saved five lives in all. His corneas also helped restore sight for two more people, and through tissue and bone donations, over 80 more people were helped. And Stephen's lungs? They saved the life of Trey Schwab.

Today, as healthy as ever, Trey Schwab works with the University of Wisconsin Organ Procurement Organization. To help honor the person that gave him a second chance at life, Schwab, along with Kathy Rutherford, will host the 3rd Annual Stephen Rutherford Memorial Golf outing at Northern Bay Resort in Admas County.

Last year Kathy Rutherford was very happy that so many people turned out to raise money and honor her son. It is also obvious that she is still proud of her son, especially when she sees someone like Trey Schwab. "It is a great feeling. Seeing Trey makes me feel like Stephen's life was worthwhile, but that sounds like a terrible thing to say. It is a double edged sword. It is hard to comment on one without it sounding wrong somehow, so what I like to say is this….Stephen always wanted to be a fireman – and he really did get to save lives.

Back in 2003, Kathy Rutherford's decision saved lives and helped many, many people. But was it her decision or was it really Stephen's? Six days after the decision had been made and lives were saved, Kathy was going through Stephen's things and found his driver's license and there it was – orange donor sticker on the front, Stephen's organ donor approval signature on the back.

Become an organ donor. Get the orange dot for your driver's license and sign the back. Stephen did and not only did it save lives, it saved Trey Schwab.

 


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